The Lionel Messi brand has seen better days. Earlier this week, authorities in Peru seized a massive haul of cocaine, valued at over $85 million, only to come across a surprising bit of packaging of the drugs. Of the 1,288 packages of cocaine, the majority were disguised as squid filets, bearing the logo of the FC Barcelona and Argentina superstar Messi.
According to a statement by the police, the branding was used by the drug traffickers as a way to ensure the quality of the product and to guarantee that the packages were not opened.
Other packages in the haul featured a likeness of the King of Spain, further continuing the bizarre connection to the Iberian nation where Messi plies his club soccer trade. This also isn’t the first time that a batch of cocaine featured the name or logo of the diminuitive Argentinian: back in 2015, a Bronx drug best led investigators to find $3 million worth of the drug named after Messi.
The 1,147 kilo haul marks Peru’s second large confiscation of 2017, after over 4,500 pounds of cocaine (street value: $174 million) on their way to the Netherlands were seized in January. The Messi-branded drugs were apparently on their way to Belgium, and are part of Peru’s cocaine pipeline, which ranks behind only Colombia in worldwide production of coca leaves.
Of course, the Internet had some fun with this reveal, joking about the quality of the cocaine and the fact that Messi himself is probably worth more than the haul seized by Peruvian authorities.